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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  March 4, 2013 5:00pm-8:00pm EST

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time in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, i send a bill to the desk. the presiding officer: the bill will be received and appropriately referred. mr. leahy: i thank the distinguished presiding officer. let me just tell you what i've done. i have introduced modified legislation to combat the practice of straw purchasing in illegal trafficking in firearms. since the initial introduction of the stop illegal trafficking firearms act at the very beginning of the 113th congress, on january 22, i have had productive conversations, several senators of both parties, and my goal of reducing the destructive criminal conduct i'm proud to be joined by the -- especially by the distinguished
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senior senator from maine, senator collins, but also senator durbin, senator kirk, senator gillibrand, senator blumenthal. i mention senator collins because she has shown real leadership in this matter. she has shown willingness to work across the aisle to make real progress. she helped unite us to get this done. i can honestly say without her, we would not have made the progress we have or be in a position to consider this comprehensive response to our law enforcement that has already told us what they need. law enforcement does not take a partisan view in this. they just take a view what's going to help law enforcement, what's going to help us be safer. i think the senator and i came in from that position. thursday, the senate judiciary committee will continue our consideration of four measures to reduce gun violence.
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this issue, gun trafficking, straw purchases, was before the committee. what i am going to do is take my original trafficking bill, and i would tell the senators who are cosponsors and amend it with a text of the bipartisan compromise. i believe it approved the language already pending before the committee, provisions laid out in legislation are focused, they are commonsense remedies, and our bill does not affect lawful purchases from federal firearms licenseees, does not alter their rights and responsibilities, but our bill was drafted to request law enforcement to give needed tools to fight against the drug cartels, other criminals who threaten our communities. we have an obligation to find solutions to reduce gun violence.
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i thank the senators for their strong leadership. no question we can do this in a way that's consistent with the rights guaranteed by the second amendment. as chairman of the judiciary committee, as a senator, as a vermonter, as an american, as a father, as a grandfather, i look forward to continuing our progress on this important legislation. mr. president, i ask consent that my full statement be included in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: and i ask consent to retain the balance of my time, and i yield the floor. ms. collins: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maine. ms. collins: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, let me begin my remarks by thanking the distinguished chairman of the judiciary committee for his very gracious comments and for his extraordinary leadership on a bill that i believe can bring
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all of us together. i also want to thank our other cosponsors of the bill, particularly senator gillibrand who has had a great interest in cracking down on the practice of straw purchasing. mr. president, the practice of straw purchasing is intended to achieve one result and one result only, and that is to put a gun in the hands of an individual who is prohibited from owning a gun. these individuals under current law are easily exploiting the weak federal laws to obtain firearms. these guns are frequently sold, resold and trafficking across state lines resulting in the proliferation of illegal firearms in our communities.
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straw purchasing and gun trafficking put guns in the hands of criminals. according to the a.t.f., of the nearly 94,000 firearms that have been recovered in mexico during the last five years, more than 64,000 have been sourced to the united states. similarly, a large percentage of the guns used in crimes in our largest cities were trafficked across state lines. the current loopholes in federal law make preventing and prosecuting these offenses very difficult for law enforcement officials, and that's why there is a large number of law enforcement organizations that have endorsed our bill. the bill creates new specific criminal offenses for straw purchasing and the trafficking
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in firearms. instead of a slap on the wrist or treating this as if it were simply a paperwork violation, these crimes under our bill would be punishable by up to 25 years in prison. the bill also strengthens existing laws that make it unlawful to smuggle guns into our country and increases the punishment for an individual who serves as the organizer of a straw purchasing scheme. now, it's important to note that the legislation protects legitimate private sales and is drafted carefully to avoid sweeping an innocent transaction or placing any unnecessary burden on lawful private sales. mr. president, our bill will help to keep guns out of the hands of criminals without
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infringing in any way upon the second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. i am again very pleased to have been able to work under the leadership of the chairman of the judiciary committee, i'm delighted that he is going to proceed to mark up our bipartisan compromise this week, and i thank him for the opportunity to work with him. i would ask unanimous consent that my entire statement be included in the record. thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. leahy: i would suggest the absence of a quorum and ask that the time be equally divided. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: i would ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. sessions: mr. president, i want to talk and express my opposition to the nomination of caitlin halligan to be united states judge for the court of appeals for the united states circuit. that's one step below the supreme court. i would note that the senate has already once objected to proceeding with consideration of this nomination. in my opinion, for good reason. we don't do that lightly, should not do that lightly, but it's an
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important question and nominees do have to clear the senate. the senate is not a rubber stamp. miss halligan has a well-documented record of advocating extreme positions on constitutional issues pushing the court beyond what i think is reasonable, including cases involving second amendment gun rights, abortion, death penalty and others, but one of the most troubling of her views pertains to the war on terror and the detention of any combatants. this is alarming not only because the argument she has advanced in this regard are contrary to well-settled law but because she seeks to join a critical court. as a member of the association of the bar of the city of new york, committee on federal courts, she joined a 2004
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report, a self-described purpose of which was specifically to -- quote -- "address in particular the role a federal court should play in striking the balance between, in this case, national security and civil liberty concerns and continuing with respect to the detention and trial of suspected terrorists or their accomplices designated as enemy combatants by the executive branch." the report comes to an untenable conclusion that the congressional authorization for the use of military force does not authorize the indefinite detention of enemy combatants. these are prisoners of war. not only did the supreme court hold that it does, in fact, authorize the indefinite detention in handi versus rumsfeld, but the obama administration has argued for a
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broad construction of that authority itself. in a series of rulings joined by judges across the ideological spectrum, the d.c. circuit has adopted itself that broad definition. the report also adopts the -- this is the bar association report -- and i have to say i -- lawyers in bar association committees, they sign on reports dealing with the national security of the united states of america. they sign on reports dealing with how prisoners of war are to be determined and handled, and at a time of national crisis when we're in a national debate about that, they should know what they are talking about. and this bar association did not . the report also adopts the unsupported view that the war on terrorism -- quote -- "seems
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closer to a law enforcement effort than a military campaign." close quote. but i would say to that the congress voted and declared it to be a military effort. tell that to the soldiers in afghanistan chasing down al qaeda operatives that it wasn't a war. so the report goes on, but this was part of the attempt at the time to undermine the president bush's ability to effectively manage the war effort. the report argues vigorously against the use of military commissions. that's where you try prisoners of war for violation of the rules of war in military commissions and maintains that the preferred place to try them are article 3 civilian courts, normal civilian courts, except in -- quote -- "exceptional
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circumstances." close quote. they say try them in civilian court to try the terrorists, enemies of the united states participating in a war against the united states with all the normal constitutional rights that a person who defrauded the i.r.s. or robbed a bank would have, but it's a different situation. you don't give those kind of rights to people at war with the united states whose goal it is to destroy the united states and to replace the government. that's never been the position in our country, nor in any other nation in the world that i am aware of. that's the position she signed on. while the obama personnel and supporters during the campaign often attacked bush and made these kind of allegations, the obama administration after taking office has been forced to abandon those positions.
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they are untenable. one of the arguments why you should try unlawful enemy combatants -- that is, people at war against the united states -- quote -- "it seems self-evident that the same constitutional protections afforded ordinary criminals should presumptively extend to those individuals whom the government has seized and proposes to detain for an extended, perhaps indefinite period of time, because they are suspected of having engaged in conduct intended to further terrorist aims, thus violating a -- applicable criminal laws." well, on 9/11, applicable criminal laws were violated, but it was an attack on the united states, not a normal crime, and the nation made a very clear decision, i thought, all of us were in agreement on, that we had moved from a time of criminal activity to a time of
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war. and we acted in that fashion. so there is nothing self-evident about that, that this should be done that way. andy mccarthy, longtime department of justice veteran prosecutor who tried the blind shik case, said the only thing the framers might have found more aspawlg the notion that the constitution licensed lawfare, that it permits americans' people's courts, which other than the supreme court are creatures of statute, not the constitution, to be used by foreign enemies to put on trial the armed forces of the of the american people over the manner in which they conduct wartime combat operations that have been authorized by the american people's representatives.
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i think andy mccarthy is right about that. i think that's basically what happened. now, i don't dispute that it's fully acceptable for lawyers to defend unpopular clients. however, it is curious to me that while this nation has hundreds of thousands of fine lawyers and thousands of proven prosecutors, the ones that seem to have a leg up -- i'm -- i'm saying this carefully because i've observed this now for four years, and i think it's significant. the ones that seem to have a leg up in this administration's nominating process are those who have challenged the legal
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processes of the former president of the united states as he attempted to conduct a war to defend the united states against an enemy dedicated to its destruction. time and time again, these are the people who have been nominated for high department of justice office and to -- and the courts. the lifetime appointment here for ms. halligan demands independence and a commitment to the rule of law and not to a political agenda. now, at her hearing, she did attempt to distance herself from the report, variously claiming she had not seen it until just before the hearing and that she had not attended all of the meetings at which the report was discussed. she admitted, however, that she could have requested that her name not be on the report, as did four other members of the committee, but she did not.
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she signed it. in fact, according to her own testimony, she never took any action to repudiate the report or its contents before her nomination or even before her hearing. the first time she expressed any disagreement with the report, it seems, was at her confirmation hearing. some call that a confirmation conversion. i seriously -- a serious attorney could would have taken swift act ax to either remove their name from the report or to repudiate it. no serious attorney would have afixed their name to a report on such an important matter in a time of war without studying it carefully, surely. it can only be assumed that the report representatived her views on the role of a civilian article 3 court with respect to detention and trial of enemy combatants. it would have done more for her own credibility, i think, to
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own up to that fact rather than paying lip service to what might be more helpful at the confirmation process. the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mr. sessions: mr. president, i would ask one additional minute, consent to have one additional minute. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: re -- reserving the right to object, i have remarks i'd like to make. mr. sessions: i'll try not to utilize the 30 seconds you used in agreeing to this. i'll offer for the record the rest of my statements on the matter, but would point out that there are other different complaints that we have about this circumstances of this
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nomination. i do think it's an extraordinary circumstance. i take that decision seriously. it's not been many that i have found that to have occurred. i don't believe this nominee is ready to be elevated to the high position of the d.c. circuit court of appeals, and would yield the floor. and offer for the record my written statement to supplement my verbal statement. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from new york. mr. schumer: thank you. i thank my colleague from alabama for taking only 30 seconds because of the 30 seconds i took to explain to him that i would take a minute. i have three parts to my little statement. i'll speak briefly on each and i ask unanimous consent the rest be put in the record. first, i rise in support of the nominations of katherine failla for the southern district of new york and pam chen of the eastern district. i have enthusiastic support for
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both of them. they're superb nominees to the federal bench. and let me talk a little about each. like many proud new yorkers, chen was not born in new york city but is now a valued and valuable not just of the new york bar but of our entire community. chen was born in chicago after her parents came here from china. she came by her zeal for public service honestly because her father worked for the i.r.s. for over 30 years. her mother was a professor of political science. when i first met chen i don't think it took more than five minutes before she 25ubgd of how proud she was of her parents, how groifl grateful for the sacrifices they made so she and her brother could extremely exel in later lie life. she came to the office of the u.s. attorney for the eastern district, one of the premier u.s. attorney offices in the nation. became chief of the civil rights decision division and then the civil rights section in that unit. she's prosecuted all members --
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manner of public corruption, gang, narcotics and terrorism cases. and she's won almost every award given by d.o.j., the list of which will appear in the record. everyone who will testify -- attest to the fact she is fair, decent, honest, and really smart. i want to finally add i look for three qualifications in a nominee -- he excellence, she clearly has that, moderation, she has that and all else present, diversity. chen will be only the second female chinese american article 3 judge in u.s. history. making this day yet another step forward in our path to making the judiciary reflect both the talent and depth of experience of our communities. katherine failla is currently u.s. attorney in charge of the important and prestigious criminals appeals unit had the southern district of new york. she is highly intelligent, an at this time cal, born to be a
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lawyer, almost destined to be a judge. she served as a prosecutor for 12 years, her colleagues colleagues report to a person her advice on legal arguments is the most sought after in the whole office, this is the southern district of new york, an amazing office. she also caiment came to dedication through a hard-working family. this is most eflt through her siblings, a schoolteachers' aide and a submarine commander. i ask that my colleagues vote for them shortly. i want to say about the president's longest standing nominee to any office, caitlin joan halligan. the u.s. circuit is one-third vacant. what some people call the second most important court in the country is firing only on two-thirds of its cylinders. hal dan gan is one of the president's nominees for two of these four slots. her nomination has been pending
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for 23 months. since her name has been sent to the senate she she has not had an up-or-down vote. she has never had an up-or-down vote despite the fact her academic and professional credentials are superb, princeton university, g.w. law school, prestigious clerkships on the d.c. circuit. first including patricia wall, if first female member of the court and then to justice stephen breyer. she's never had an up-or-down vote despite expedite the fact she cement most of her career in public service as a prosecutor, first with the office of attorney general now as assistant district attorney who serves as the general counsel for the manhattan d.a.'s office. she has never had an up-or-down vote despite the fact she would be only the sixth wonwoman to serve on the court since its inception in 1801. two years ago when her anonymous with us filibustered many of my colleagues cited the d.c. circuit's relatively low case load for the reason the court didn't need to confirm another judge.
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but now two years later there are only seven judges hearing cases on the court. the caseload per judge has risen 21%. since president bush made his last nomination to the court in 2006. and my colleagues know how difficult and time consuming these cases are. i cannot, i have great respect for my friend and colleague and person i exercise in the gym every morning, jeff sessions, but to say this is extraordinary circumstances, based on the singhen of evident -- smidgen of evidence he's mentioned? please, please, please. please. let us hope there is not a concerted effort by the other side to keep this important d.c. circuit empty, unfilled. it is not right, not fair to this fine woman and the needs to proceed with justice in these united states of america. i yield the floor. and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: i ask unanimous consent the pending quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered.
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the question before the house is on the chen nomination. all those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the nomination is confirmed. the question is now on the failla nomination. mr. whitehouse: i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be a sufficient second. the yeas and nays are called for. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: anyone wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, on this vote the ayes are 91. the nays are zero.
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the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table. the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate will resume legislative session. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each. and i would ask unanimous consent that i may speak up to 20 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mrs. boxer: mr. president, as we all come back -- i would ask that there be order in the senate, if i could. mr. president, i would ask that there be order in the chamber. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. mrs. boxer: mr. president, one of the virtues of traveling back
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home is to hear what the people are saying about us. and it isn't good. and the people are on anxiety overload. and the purpose of my remarks is not to increase anyone's anxiety, but just to tell it the way it is. how did we get to a place where we're having some mindless across-the-board cuts in spending that have absolutely no thought? it came about because the republicans refused to increase the debt ceiling. we were about to default on our obligations after raising the debt ceiling many, many times -- 18 times under ronald reagan, and ronald reagan warned us in those times never to play games with the debt ceiling. well, the republicans did. they played games with the debt ceiling. and they did it because, if you follow what then-the republican
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leader said, his highest priority was defeating president obama. and i'm sure they thought that kind of chaos would lead the way. that didn't happen. clearly our president was reelected, and he was reelected with a big vote. i'd ask that the senate be in order. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the senate will come to order. the senator from california. mrs. boxer: i'm sure that conversation was more interesting than mine. so as i was saying, we got into this situation with the sequester because there were games being played with the debt ceiling. and as a way to get out of it, we did something that we thought would never come to pass.
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we said, okay, give us this ability to raise the debt ceiling so we can pay our bills and not become a third world nation and not lose our credit rating even more than we've already lost it. and then we will look at deficit reduction. and if the super committee can't come up with a deal, we'll just have these across-the-board cuts. no one thought that they would happen. and they're happening. and now what we hear is, oh, it's really no big deal. our republican friends are saying. it's okay. and i want to talk about that for a minute, and then after i'm done with that, i'm going to talk about an issue that has to get on this agenda, and that's climate change. but let me tell you that maybe people watching this or in their homes may not be touched by the
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sequester. but let me tell you who will be touched by the sequester, and let me make the argument that when these people are touched by it, we're all touched by it. this is one nation under god. and when we hurt our people, we get hurt. 70,000 children will not get head start. is that supposed to be good for the country? 10,000 teacher jobs will be lost. is that supposed to be good for the country? how about 7,200 special ed teachers, teaching every day with kids who have such a hard time just getting dressed in the morning. is that a good thing for america? i would argue this list is terrible for our country. maybe you don't have a kid in head start. i don't.
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maybe you don't know a special ed teacher. the point is we're one country, and we do best when we help our most vulnerable. how about this? 424,000 h.i.v. tests conducted by the center for disease control will no longer happen. is that good for the country to have h.i.v.-infected people walking around not knowing they have h.i.v.? how about 25,000 fewer breast and cervical cancer screenings? maybe it's not your wife or your sister or your mom, but somebody's sister and somebody's daughter is going to not find out that she has breast cancer. and tell me how that is good for this country. i'm not even talking about the cuts to defense, some of which i think we can do, but many of which don't make sense.
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i'm just looking at the cuts here to the most vulnerable people. four million fewer meals will be served to senior citizens. does that make you proud, republicans? oh, i hope you're proud. programs like meals on wheels are going to be impacted. 600,000 women and children won't get nutrition assistance. and there will be 1,000 f.b.i. agents and other law enforcement personnel laid off or furloughed. 1,000 criminal cases won't be prosecuted. is that good for america? maybe your tphaepl wasn't the -- maybe your family wasn't the victim of a crime. maybe it's not your relative who happens to be a law enforcement officer. but this is one nation under god, with liberty and justice for all. and how does it make sense for these cuts to go into effect when all we have to do to avert
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it, mr. president, is reform the tax code and take away those juicy little tax loopholes that companies get who ship their jobs overseas. and how about asking someone who earns $2 million -- $2 million a year -- to pay the same effective tax rate as their secretary. what kind of a country is this? we would rather have these kinds of brutal cuts to the least among us than just have a fair tax code? mr. president, in the last 50 years only one party balanced the budget, and that party is the democratic party. bill clinton and the democratic congress, the only party that ever balanced the budget. so spare me the lectures from my friends on the other side of the aisle about how they are the ones that know how to do it. no they don't. because when you make these
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mindless cuts, and people are furloughed and they have less money to spend, they don't go to the corner store and take their family for lunch or dinner. they don't spend as they would normally spend. and it's a trickle-down effect on this country. as a matter of fact, mark zandi, the respected nonpartisan which i have the said it is going to take a half a point off economic growth at a time when we are not growing that robustly. and here's the point. when president obama inherited job because we elected him to it, he faced a $1.2 trillion deficit of george w. bush who had turned the bill clinton surplus in raging deficits, and the deficits are down now to $850 billion. so don't say we're not making progress. a democratic president is making progress on the deficit.
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but let's do the rest of this deficit cutting wisely, in a balanced way. we've cut $1.7 trillion from spending, and, yes, $700 billion we have raised taxes on those earning a lot of money. but there's a lot more cuts we have made than revenue increases we have made. so i come to the floor to say this is a self-inflicted wound, and if i hear anyone say it doesn't really affect me, let me tell you that's not true. because when our kids are hurt, we're hurt. when our health care system is hurt and people are walking around with diseases, we're all hurt. when our senior citizens don't get the meals, we're all hurt. otherwise, what's the point in having a country if it's everyone for themselves? that isn't the greatness of america. so i was proud to vote to revert
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the sequester. we had a majority vote before we left here for the weekend. but my republican friends filibustered that, so we had over 50 votes to get rid of the sequester, and the republicans filibustered. enough already. and i hope they'll come to their senses, and we can do this deficit reduction in a serious way that makes sense. and now, mr. president, i want to talk about climate change. it's one of the most serious threats facing our nation. and, you know, all you really have to do is look out the window to see it's already happening. and i want to talk about a great -- a great thing that just happened recently when "usa today," which is the nation's largest newspaper in print form -- more people read that paper than anybody else -- they announced in a front-page story
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last friday, on march 1, that they are going to spend a year looking at the issue of climate change. this is the front page. they show the temperatures going up. they talk about more asthma. but let's look at what they said because, mr. president, i am appalled that with all of this going on around us, we just seem to have no way forward on this issue. and i'm going to be here every monday after votes to talk about this. and i urge every member of the senate, democratic or republican, who cares about this issue, to join me. we have got to wake up the american people to the fact that this senate is doing nothing, even though i believe there's a
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majority for doing something, we don't have the 60 votes. and let's talk about it. this is what "usa today" says. "why you should sweat climate change." more american children are getting asthma and allergies. more seniors are suffering heat strokes. already, mr. president, food and utility prices are rising. flooding is overrunning bridges, swamping subways and closing airport runways. people are losing jobs in drought-related factory closings. cataclysmic storms are wiping out sprawling neighborhoods. towns are sinking. towns are sinking. in -- and congress does nothing. does nothing. "usa today" -- this isn't a science fiction, end of the world scenario. these scenes are already playing out somewhere in the united states. they're expected to get worse in the years ahead.
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people need to act quickly. climate change is not a place and time distant. it is here and now. that's a quote from kim mountain, who is a health professor at columbia university, and this was shown in "usa today." the most recent decade was the nation's hottest on record. this isn't a guess. this is the truth. the most recent decade was the nation's hottest on record, and 2012 was the hottest single year. the average u.s. temperature has risen 1.5 degrees farenheit since reliable record-keeping began in 1895 -- 80% of that has occurred since 1980. the economic cost of all these changes are enormous. not only for those directly affected, but for the nation's
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taxpayers who are stuck with the bills for disaster relief, national flood insurance and drought-related crop losses. now, what are we supposed to do about this? clearly scientists tell us there's too much carbon pollution in the air and i'll show you where it's coming from. the electricity sector gives us 34% of the carbon. transportation sector, 27% of the carbon comes from them. the industrial sector, 20%. the residential and commercial buildings, 11%. the ag sector 7%. we know that president obama has done an amazing job in leading us with members here in the senate, i have to say bipartisan -- senators snowe and feinstein worked so hard on this. he said it is time for us to get better fuel economy. fuel efficiency is going to take
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carbon out of the air. and we are moving toward 55 miles per gallon. that is excellent, and we can continue to make great progress as we move toward plug-in hybrids. i drive one of those myself. and eventually electric cars. so i can tell you when you drive these cars, you don't visit those gas stations, it saves you money. it's a win-win. the environment gets cleaned up. you save money. it's all good. and we know the electricity sector is complicated, but what we want to do, many of us here, is to say if you put a price on carbon, it will move us away from the dirtiest types of electricity production toward clean, clean electricity, and that's what we're trying to do. so senator sanders wrote a very strong bill that i'm a cosponsor of. it would put a price on carbon,
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and we would take the funds that we get from that price on carbon, i think $20 a ton when we start, it will bring in many billions, and what we'll do with it is 60% of it will go to the people to soften the blow of higher electricity prices until we have moved to clean energy. so we have to move on this. on residential commercial buildings, i have a bill to move forward through the g.s.a., the biggest government landlord -- it's the biggest landlord in the country, and we can move forward with economies to those buildings by making sure that there are -- that the windows don't let in all that air or escape all that heat, and we can make those weather-related improvements, and we can encourage them to move to solar and other ways. so the industrial sector is the
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same. once there is a price on carbon, they will move to putting in solar and the rest. so in closing, i just have to say this -- we have one self-inflicted wound called a sequester, and we can get out of it really easily by working together on deficit reduction in a balanced way and stop these mindless cuts that hurt the people of our nation, the children of our nation, the seniors of our nation, law enforcement of our nation, our busiest airports, trains and the rest. we can avoid all that if we're smart and we say we want a balanced approach. and i believe that if we recognize what "usa today" is saying, which is you should sweat climate change because it's happening now, if we can come together, we can move forward and do our part because we just heard the environment and public works committee, i'm proud to share it, we heard from
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four scientists, and when they were asked if we do nothing, what will happen, they said parts of our nation will not exist anymore. mr. president, imagine hearing people say no more atlantic city, no more new orleans, and in a, you wouldn't recognize it. that's the first answer. we didn't even get to what happens in the west. and we know from senators like tom udall what would happen to that beautiful state of new mexico. it would become a desert environment. no more green. and the fires that are already started. mr. president, i am sad to say that we have done little to nothing. i can only say that this president has done whatever he could do, and so any progress we have had have come from his executive orders and i might add the states. my home state of california,
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just moving forward, creating jobs in clean energy, moving forward, being a model, and i'm going to support them. our governor jerry brown, he gets this. it doesn't take a degree in climatology to see what is happening to our climate, and it's happening. we understand it. i saw a movie, it was called "chasing ice." oh, god, if you haven't seen it, i suggest you watch it. this is a great photographer who goes to four different places, including montana, greenland, iceland, alaska, and he puts these cameras up there to watch the glaciers, and you see what happens over two years. these glaciers are disappearing. this isn't some kind of a cry for attention on my part. i just love my grandkids, and i want them to have a planet that is habitable for them. they deserve that. and they're going to look back
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to this time someday and say my goodness, what were they thinking? but it's not too late for us. and with "usa today" leading the way, i think we can turn public opinion around and get going on this issue. thank you so much, mr. president. i yield the floor. mrs. gillibrand: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mrs. gillibrand: i rise today to talk about an issue that every mother in america is thinking about. every parent in america who saw what happened in connecticut bleeds for this issue. we have to do something in our country about senseless gun crime. we have to do something about
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making sure criminals do not have easy access to weapons to shoot down our children and loved ones in areas that should be the safest places for them. we have seen these mass deaths, whether it's at a school, whether it's at a university, whether it's in a movie theater, whether it's in a community center. these crimes are happening over and over and over again. now, i can tell you when i was first appointed to the u.s. senate in 2009, i realized that our state of new york suffers from grave gun crime all across our state. we have gang violence, we have gun trafficking, we have straw purchasing, networks of weapons flowing into our state. 85% of the weapons used in crimes in my state come from out of state, and 90% of those weapons are illegal. i had to look into the eyes of parents who had just lost their
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daughter because of a stray bullet from a gang member. naisha's parents deserve an answer. the children in connecticut's parents deserve an answer. well, i have good news today because the senate is working. we are working on a bipartisan bill that was introduced today by the chairman of the judiciary committee, chairman leahy, to begin to solve this problem. now, this bill has wide bipartisan support. it started out with senator mark kirk and i working together. he has a real tough problem in illinois with gang violence that he wanted to address and crack down on, and that bipartisan work began to attract other bipartisan work. the ranking member, senator grassley, was very interested in this bill, and has been working with us to shape the bill, make
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it stronger. susan collins, who has been a leader on this issue, began to work with us to shape this bill, to make it better. senator leahy and senator durbin have been working on the issue separately, and we all joined forces to begin to write a bill that would begin to tackle this problem, to make it a stronger solution, a better solution. we now have cosponsors. we have got mr. president sitting and presiding right now, senator joe donnelly. we have got both senators from connecticut who must answer the parents of their state that they're doing something about this senseless death. senator blumenthal, a former attorney general, knows what law enforcement needs to take on these criminals. senator murphy, senator klobuchar, also a previous attorney general who knows what it takes to crack down on these kinds of crimes and the
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senseless death. senator king, an independent, also signs onto this bill because he knows it can do something to crack down on gun violence in this country. of all the laws on the books in this country today, not one federal law says you can't buy a truckload of guns, bring them to another state and sell them to a criminal network. not even prohibited. you wouldn't believe it. how could that be true in a country like ours where the federal government's number-one job is to protect our families? well, that's what this bill does. it makes it a federal crime to traffic, to be a straw purchaser, sell these guns to criminal networks with the intent of breaking the law. now the law enforcement agencies, whether it's a.t.f. or nypd or the f.b.i., they now have the tools they need on a
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federal level to begin to tackle this crisis. so i urge my colleagues, i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, if they want to do something about the senseless gun death in this country, this is a bill they can support. for all the law-abiding gun owners in this country who support the second amendment as i do, they can look at this bill and say that is a bill we're supporting, that bill should pass, because it goes after the criminals and the illegal weapons that are the scourge of this country. 30 people get killed a day because of gun violence. 30 deaths. one is too many. when i look at naisha's parents, one is too many. enough is enough. i am certain that when this bill passes this chamber and when law enforcement begins to have the
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tools, we will save lives with this bill. i want to thank my colleagues again for all the hard work they've done. i want to thank senator mark kirk for his courage in being the first republican to stand up to do a gun bill, first bipartisan bill entered in this chamber. i have a statement for the record from senator kirk on our bill. i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from nevada. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i have been told that it's -- republicans aren't able to clear an agreement for consideration of the halligan
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nomination. therefore i move to proceed to calendar number 13 and proceed into executive session to do that. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion to proceed. without objection, the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nomination. the clerk: nomination, caitlin joan cal began of new york to be circuit judge for the district of columbia circuit. mr. reid: i have a cloture at the -- motion at the desk. the clerk: we the undersigned senators from accordance with provisions of rule 22 of of the standing rules of the senate hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the nomination of caitlin joan halligan of new york to be united states
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district court judge for the district of columbia circuit. signed by 17 senators. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask consent that the mandatory quorum under rule 22 be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that we now proceed to legislative session and a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask when the senate complete its business, that the morning business be deemed icts
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pierd and the time for the two leaders reserved for use later in the day. following any leader marks the senate proceed with morning business until 11:45 with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees with the majority controlling the first 30 minutes, the republicans controlling the second 30 minutes. further, following morning business the senate proceed to s. res. 64. finally, the senate recess from 12:30 to 2:15 for our weekly caucus meetings. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: there will be at least one roll call vote at 12:15 tomorrow on the paul amendment to s. res. 64. if there is no further business to come before the senate i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until senate stands adjourned until
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she was joined by former secretary, tom ridge and michael chertoff. this is an hour. [applause] >> welcome. appreciated. we have three secretaries. i appreciate you all coming
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together for this. secretary napolitano, the least of these is an opera fan. we will start with you, made some news this morning. everyone in washington concerned about this sequester has landed. you say girardi seen some effects that tsa. >> as i shared with the congress when i testified, now that we are having to reduce or eliminate basically over time both for tsa and for customs, now that we've institutionalized a hiring freeze, we will begin today sending out furlough notices. we are already seeing the big airports, for example. some of them had very long lines this weekend. >> i want to say it o'hehir,
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l.a. at. i want to say at landmark, but have to check. the new york airports got through okay, but that's going to be temporary. we will see these effects cascade over the next week. >> what kind of lines are we talking about? >> i would say 150 to 200% is the longest we would normally expect. i'm trying to give your story so you can say it's really long. what i would really say is look, people, i don't mean to scare. i mean to inform. if you're traveling, get to the airport earlier than you otherwise would. please don't yell at the customs officers are tsa officers. they are not responsible for sequester. >> has that been happening? >> i haven't heard how it went
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from a customer traveler interaction, but nobody likes to wait in line and nobody likes to wait in long lines. as a matter of sequester, this is happening and will continue to have been. >> last question on this, but we be doing to mitigate or will it get worse as the month goes on? >> there's very little we can do to mitigate because the procedures for use to clear passengers and cargo are responsible for the fact we have a very safe aviation system in a very good lan migration system where we know who's coming into the country. we're not going to cut back on the security needs to the end result is fewer people doing the same things. want to get longer. >> will pull back the camera on the department of homeland security, the anniversary we celebrate here. in this sequester report put out late friday night that everybody
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read saturday morning, the secret service is taken a 5% cut to its operating count. how does the secret service to skip? that's part of your empire of course. >> empire. last night [laughter] obviously, one of the major responsibilities of the services protection of the president and vice president. so on to protect inside, we're going to protect that of course. what it really means is on the investigative side, where we handle all kinds of financial identity theft, cybercrime, counterfeiting cases originate not just here but around the world. secret service is the lead in many of those. a lot of it committees being cut back. >> what's interesting is they all get along in the alumni get
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along. three administrations of joint alumni events. it's happy hour coming up wednesday. how many people here are worrying dhs on day one? we have a bunch. governor ridge, backstage i asked governor ridge if i should or governor and he said god, so i'll go with governor. tell us about day one. you were there. >> what most of them don't realize is although the case opened march 1st, the national security council dropped by a couple days before and think that we had a guy by the name of colonel bill parrish and a couple weeks to what you her to me that america in case there's blowback so we have something called liberty shield so the crew of individuals but relationships in the private sector just in case.
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the work of the homeland security began before the doors open. >> governor, in your book among the test of our times available on amazon, you have a chapter called buttoning up america any talk about those early days. there's a narrative in the media that the department of homeland security was hoisted on the bush administration, but he resisted it, did it anyway. you were in the white house has homeland security advisor. is that how it happened? >> that's not a narrative with which i'm familiar. we've heard it clearly. president bush early on after i received a phone call in september obviously professors know architecture value to deal with any threat and this new threat to our sovereignty and way of life. his challenge to me was let's
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see how this plays out. so with that really worked for several months within the department. i recall curling on in the budget discussions trying to move people and money around in order to create a border centric agency without a massive reorganization. there was enormous pushback that members of the cabinet at that time who thought we simply needed that her court nation and my successors ran into that as well. ultimately it was clear even before 9/11 there had been a 21st century that got to monitor people. so with resistance of small maneuvers to create a mini me that the president decided we needed to do more than nine and frankly there was a lot of setting to a prolonged and what didn't belong.
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once the president suggests we need a border centric agency, the cabinet finally decided it was a good idea. >> i talked to some colleagues who were there. the meetings got crazy. it was unwieldy all the people who legitimately but that they needed a seat at the homeland security table. it couldn't be done within the west wing. >> treat renown, the president within the card and the nsc and other places had very deliberative intense process within the white house. pervaded every conceivable agency that the longer didn't belong. should the secret service being revenue department? at the end of the day, without any leaks, pull together on the strategy here before the aggregation of these traditional
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departments layering on a new set of requirements and a new mission. but some thoughtfully, energetically, a handful of people who were twice for seven for two or three weeks to that weblog to but didn't belong. at one point in time should the fbi be part of the homeland security? no, absolutely not. the unsung heroes are those who labored rather intensely and intensively in the vows at the white house for three weeks. when that was said and done, brought it before the president, approved and away he went. >> each of the secretaries who suited to their times. president and ceo for its global. a big comforting figure. michael chertoff at the supreme court to delay justice william
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brennan is now chairman and cofounder of the chertoff group is more behind the scenes, made the department someone to ask you about the maturing of dhs is a bureaucracy. it took the defense department 50 years. some people in this room remember initially the service secretaries were very powerful. they tried to impose a pentagon authority that didn't work. we had unquestionably powerful secretary of defense. where is dhs not evolution? >> when i took over and have been better a little under two years, tom had done a great job, but it was an amateur department and a lot of the processes that you're used to the department of justice where he worked for many years are simply absurd. it was a fully fleshed out way to manage schedule or briefing or press are things of that
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sort. so there was a lot of feeling out the frame. one advantage we have a dod didn't have, which is we didn't take a couple of existing pieces and put them together. in the short run that made it more difficult. it also meant the entrenched way of doing business, which they faced at the pentagon was not really present in dhs because no one with any trenches. everything had to be built from scratch and that gave us the opportunity under my successor, janet napolitano to bring in a sense of joint mess. we liked at the department of defense and goldwater-nichols to say, how can we promote people operating in a joint fashion because that's what the proposition was. >> within the u.s. government and because your distance come you can talk more candidly. within the cabinet, within the
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government, how much credibility authority does dhs have and how much is still to be evolved and earned? >> over my four year synopsis i show a tremendous difference in the department vis-à-vis the other departments. it's the third-largest, but aren't a lot of missions by other agencies. when i first got there, tom will remember this, there is a protector of rice bowl mentality and getting to coordinate and work in tandem with dhs rather tend to resist dhs is very difficult. by the time i left, a lot of that had fallen away because we have lived through a series of significant events. you know, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, which over time a custom people and other
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agencies to work with dhs. so that was a positive development. >> one of the advantages i had been secretary napolitano from the get-go was a sense of mission internally. the opposites in headquarters for spartan and that's being kind. >> they were all over town. >> building a new department and assimilating agencies and bureaus that some of them had hundred year, 200 year history scum is to create in the culture of the business line integration. you got to do with the budget, but the mission among those men and women with whom i served really was the glue that held it together. the first couple years are chaotic and michael is absolutely correct. i recall the first meeting in the roosevelt meeting before the president decided to go with the department, there is tremendous
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resistance from anybody else that we ought to do it. that sense of mission once the decision was made among everybody that were spared was rather remarkable. >> 24/7, 365. nobody worried about anything. they just did it. >> issue push for it or did you salute? >> ipod is necessary to have it. there've been plenty of studies with regard to creating a border centric agency, the red after 9/11, anthrax and everything else seemed to make sense of the 21st century whether you have a terrorism incident or not to build almost a network system within america to help protect us post-9/11 and the real challenge was a unity of effort horizontally and vertically. don't forget these other
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agencies bid on top of what they were doing homeland security. remarkable crew. >> secretary napolitano, the dream of the people eventually would become a melting pot, one unified department rather than these previous disembodied head. this is a hard group to assert control over. these are proud, independent agencies for 200 years. you've been there for 10 years. where are we in that process? >> we call it the concept of one dhs. if the business of focusing now our missions as we've matured from that does to secretary chertoff to me, the ability to really say okay, what our major missionary areas? work on information sharing with the state and local arises from
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that. air land and sea border security, all the issues involved with that. immigration enforcement. cybersecurity, which is most evolved in the last couple years. so for example, when we were dealing with hurricane sandy last fall, fema was up there on the ground, the cdp was fair. the coast guard says they are leading search and rescue efforts among other things. we had employees throughout the department, over 1400 had taken some extra training come to the new york area. they lived on a merchant during vessel and literally were going apart the two apartment, checking on people, making sure things are going right. so pulling on that sense of mission that our employees join us for an melding them as we do a lot of our different dvds
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has really accelerated. >> secretary napolitano, a week ago he gave her third annual address on the state of homeland security the evolution and future be talked about dhs to play now. what do you mean by that? >> we are rapidly maturing the part. 10 years is nothing in the history of large complicated government institutions. this is the most significant reorganization of the federal government since the creation of dod really. 3.0 is that we can take what we've learned, take some of the evolving technology that has changed over time and we can really focus on trying to identify passengers and cargo to require more attention versus those that are very low risk. we can really focus her attention on getting more and more people into pre-check or global entry, which are doing
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your security stuff before hand, before you get to the airport. we can really focus on the teambuilding is really needed to have the network that secretary ridge is talking about. >> you brought up tsa, so will plunge in. i think you'll agree, this is not a beloved department. one of the reason is most people encounter or impact with it is tsa. you mention risk-based spirit are we going to see tsa evolve? is a "new york times" reporter who has a crusade enabled to use devices on airplanes. it's going to be different -- >> liquids, gels and shoes. we've hardly been carving out
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things. if you're 12 and under or over 75 come you don't have to take off your shoes because we've identified those are very, very low risk groups as a whole. i hope technology ultimately is the answer here that will be able to move to something that allows almost every passenger to keep their shoes on. in the meantime, however, we have another advantage to keeping things under one growth seat could check multiple things very quickly. and start these traveler programs, global entry for this internationally and pre-check for those traveling domestically our goal is by the end of this year, 25% of the public will be in one of those pre-check type programs. that's going to help every traveler because most airports are not configured to add lanes.
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given sequester comeau it difficult to step in the lanes we already have. we can do is make commonsense decisions to focus and remove some people from those lines. >> as they get on planes overseas including last week i was in argentina and when i got on the plane to come back, i did not take my shoes off. what are the chances when president obama has coffee with his successor in january 20th 2017 doublebill to go through a scanner at the airport in labor issues on? >> i can put a number on it. believe you me, i could stop my fingers and let people keep their shoes on i would do it. >> i think secretary napolitano and john pistole have to be recognized. this is all about evolution. the three secretaries has been the evolution and maturing of
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the department. whether it's a terrorist you're concerned about at the airport or just in general is about risk management. you can't eliminate the risk, so i think john pistole and secretary have decided we're going to move in the direction and prescreening more people. it's all about risk management. you can't possibly say we have a department of homeland security connected with the intelligence community, connected with the defense community. eliminate all risk. there's always risk of another attack. this is a significant statement on homeland security to the rest of the world and america generally to manage the risk. it's an asymmetric threat, but we can start managing the risk and tsa is in a marvelous job under the direction of john pistole. a >> in the last 10 years, you should not change in technology has occurred.
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10 years ago after 9/11, we are just beginning to talk about what kind of data without their, how you could manage to make risk assessments, with technology there was for screening. 10 years have seen a transformation that ought to reflect in a somewhat or carefully sculpted system for screening that we had 10 years ago. >> we will continue to improve on the type knowledge he is. we really have cutting-edge research on the technologies. in this country i didn't have to take off my shoes or i could keep my shampoo or what have you. the threat to the united states is different. we have to manage risk as is represented by threats to the united states. so when you have a group like aqap and the arabian peninsula is very focused on taking down an aviation i said, being a
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passenger or cargo plane retains several activities over the course of our 10 years. you got to manage that risk. it's not just aqap, but an example of the things we are managing to keep the traveling public safe. >> last question for secretary napolitano, former administrator of the book about permanent emergency. i feel like i hear you saying even though you play to maybe do shoes are liquids, doesn't seem like it's in the near future or is that part of the process and eventually that might be feasible. >> i would say is part of the process now, but we are working on technologies in pilot programs to see if we can with the bad. in the meantime, this aviation
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system is the largest and most complex in the world. we are screening passengers a day. i don't think people who get on planes worry about safety. there's a value to god that we all should recognize. when the tso officers making something for making a decision who could be and what line or what have you, it's all done to keep people safe. >> based on the technology and research, are more likely to see a change in shoes are liquids first? >> that's a hard discussion. we are moving with every bit of wisdom we have to devote. >> realize that it's easy to get into one of these programs. you don't have to go through the other screening mechanisms. >> i'm going to bring into the
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conversation. i look forward to your questions. secretary chertoff, one of supernode for those relations with both sides of the aisle when he worked there any maintain those through a tough time for the government bureau is a 552 page book about the origins of dhs and then there this summer has after katrina that you did your own internal review of possible organizational structure after it. he didn't call for basic organizational change, but for the integration of the unified incident command. but is there a that fema would've been changed, got rid of coming to become closer to big change after katrina? >> tom will remember this. there is a period of time with a lot of resistance on the part of
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fema becoming part of the department. i frankly believe in actually believe more after katrina than before, the answer was closer to integration rather than separation. if you think about the capabilities you want in an emergency, fema itself does not have an operational personnel. you want to integrate and deploy your customs, tso, other agents and the air france and other equipment and bring that to bear to support was going on. the key here is planning. i used to get asked over and over who's in charge and people have the mental model that we have a domestic version of a combatant commander with the secretariat dhs would order elements to move around. that is not civilian governments. the united states is a federal system and state system. you got unity of effort, but you cannot have him via command.
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the way you bridge that gap is to have a planning capability and training capabilities to get people to understand when there's a crisis. the example i use is a baseball team. featuring an exercise in practice. when you're actually the ballgame, the manager is not out there yelling instructions to the shortstop and a third baseman. they know what to do because they play together and that was the motto we try to bring into the department. >> there is some conversation about rebranding, renaming fina. how closer they come to that? >> i don't think it was very close. the lease but it is in washington in response to challenges is that moving boxes around or worse yet, renaming things as if that's going to change them. you've really got to get to the actual mechanics announce what we focused on. ..
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how much the public has a right to know about these matters balanced with the needs of upper security? >> sure. i haven't read it. but here's what i think the public made snow. first, in terms of killer capture, these are among and
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should be among the most difficult this is is that made. that's where -- i think there is an emerging policy framework around how those decisions made. it's a policy framework. a legal framework which really, when you read the law and you read, for example to what the attorney general has said, among others, there is a very broad legal framework in which you can operate. but the policy framework is and should be much more narrow. so i think that is the framework that people should have confidence that is being exercised and now that these decisions are made very, very carefully. >> thank you. i'll go to your next, with first-year going to jail down on border enforcement. secretary, there has been a lot of publicity recently about some immigrant detainee's. you were explaining that there
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is a numerical issue the face. -- that. >> there is a story, we released a dozen detainees because of sequester. that is really not accurate. >> it develops its own mythology. here's the deal. we are constantly, as the secretary's know, moving people in and out of detention. these are immigrants, illegal limits who, for one reason or another adjust better and attention than under some alternative. with a sequestered lemming and the end of this continuing resolution and a couple of weeks, it's like the perfect storm. we really have to manage so many different things because we don't have a budget. with the normal ebb and flow
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accounted for many of those releases. the people who were removed or bonded out or status was changed or for whatever reason. i think, over copper sequester, getting ahead of that looming deadline to my career officials made a decision that there were some very, what i would call very low level, low risk detainee's that could be put into a supervisor release program which is what happened. we will continue to do that recognizing the secretaries will understand the rock and our place analogy. on the one hand you have to maintain 304,000 beds command on the other hand they say were at going to give you the money with which to do that. they don't offer any flexibility we're going to manage their way through this by identifying the lowest risk detainee's and putting them into some kind of alternative to release. >> the need to sequester. >> 700 was related to sequester,
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but it was not thousands. >> in this going to continue? chris for the foreseeable future , yes. >> with the enormous respect to the political and are met with which we work, you have had two secretaries that had to do trier's readers congress cannot find a way to create an integration policy, a broad based integration policy of the innocence of america. so you released 2000. did not release 2001. the secretary tried to do it. right now there appears to be a bipartisan coalition of around the notion of immigration reform . let's be very, very clear. the job of the secretary of homeland security with regard to the securing the borders to be a heck of a lot easier if the data sets congress would forget about the partisanship and come up with a broad based, comprehensive immigration plan. >> absolutely.
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>> to the point person. you're on the hill. your at the white house. the last comment, there was a big effort made and immigration. now we're into a new push on it. what was learned? >> i think a couple of things. in the first thing, to follow, and the use the server ... there is a resistance sometimes to recognizing the things of action begun better. on my friend to tell you we have a perfectly secure border, but if you look get a series of different metric server the time of the last ten years, there's been a steady improvement in terms of operational control of the border and in terms of the nep and endo flow. and when you invest an awful wahoo, you need to continue that. but never to a knowledge progress self-defeating. i think this is reflected.
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three major pillars. one is making people confident and that it won't go away once you have some kind of an amnesty, and that is the lesson of 86. the business community has really been not just for high-tech, but less skilled workers to do work that americans will not do. and the reality is. people used to say, you have of this agricultural workers. i never met a person who's said to there gradually high-school senior, i want to be lettuce picker. the fact of the matter is americans don't want to do that. and the third piece, you do have to have a resolution for the people who have otherwise been law-abiding that would give them some path to straitening themselves out and having a more sustainable situation where they're able to contribute to this country. if you get those and make
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achieving the goals a priority, then i think you get reform. >> let's talk mechanics. >> we're having, of first it was his ability to move commerce. president obama starting the center. the time betweentimes getting to the floor allowed a lot of the roche. the have to move it quickly. and yet have to send a message and put facts out there so people understand how mr. we have accomplished border security, you have to recognize there has been progress. >> that may come to you next.
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from twitter, live strain. hell is the deterioration of third of jobs creating new homeland security. >> there is a lot to be submitted. it is interesting. restoring manufacturing in the united states. you can look it critical pieces of investor asher that we have of short. if you have a problem in areas of the, his the dependency on foreign sources of basic manufacturing kids is a natural problem. whether it's legitimate says they have to be a lot more
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progressive. homeland of economics, national security. >> transformers. these big transformers. all made overseas. lost in a domestic production. pagan expensive high-tech a long time when. you have to give governor sign something waving highway with them and so the thicken move from the port toward riches than needed. after sandy when needed transformers. that whole process given to some of the delay which is one example we ran into. when not going to rebuild the manufacturing capability. so now we have to do our planning a round that and think
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about a figure is down, the transformers are destroyed. >> pippa. don't export highly skilled engineer and technology graduates. when the a lavender stay here he create jobs. i was out in california last week. it boggles the mind of using their ingenuity to create businesses, but we have to continue to bring the men who. >> his point, if we could just be stable a card to those graduates and but then to stay hidden. in need of broadbased policy and it gives them the pump which his stay here.
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>> a question on the front and. >> national defence magazine. right from the freak acquisition have program there has been some high-profile failures, some suggest if faugh -- what is the current state of the acquisition community in n. >> where going to take one of your net. >> here that evolution has been one of the largest. as the secretary said, the nuts and bolts of the department did not exist. procurement, human resources. here is what we move to an. an acquisition nephew martin.
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the look at acquisitions of $1 million more have. winehouse and a half training acquisition. when looking for whip the processes her. we have really him, that part of the has put governance here around acquisition him. tonight with the technologies and and and in the main that has to be scalable, and her pushing the envelope you're bound to have some to 9-. you want to as a tennis and his possible whether something is going to organize and to cut it off as quickly as you can once
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the decision is made and an have with up to some degree and to is the home a dozen workhouse. >> a book also the law. assessing the first five hitters . is it looking ahead, the subtle encouragement of complacency. >> i think it's a challenge to his brother of brega and her have his hair had after having your scuba has -- has the patent but the be -- what do need a
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warrant hadn't. >> two things a sudden when jeff
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do -- things i said hawaiian, biological attack. it can easily be one hand and that would occur again, and a cyber attacking one of the tools nine capabilities of increased. that system formation of with the actual operational systems have become. >> the president in connection -- conjunction put out an executive order and seven security in. how does the administration work to fill in the gaps and expand? inbounds. >> the order is actually, the recognized as the role of the department of common security. it al qaeda to assess the responsibility and to identify
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and protect the nation's and 507 for structure which confident with our requirements in the physical world american for infrastructure. so we have been implementing that older and had been planning at for quite awhile. rework of the nsa, the fbi. the implementation moving forward, there are certain things that cannot be done by executive order. one example, we would like to have the same hiring flexibility for those in the cyber round at the nsa has were terrible to make different kinds of offers and hiring packages that you would if you just follow the normal civil service rules. that would be helpful i must be done by statute. >> anytime the issue of seven security is raised at the presidential level it is a very good thing and i am delighted he
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signed an order. implicit in the order, however, were a couple of problematic observations. one is the notion that the private sector has not invested to protect our critical of infrastructure, and as a list of work with the infrastructure have others said they have invested billions and billions. the 2-found, of good things, but the notion in 2013 the president of the united states help to sign an executive order compelling the federal government to share unclassified information when they're is a threat directed to a specific target. makes me wonder where we have been the best in years. as it began from kaywun, the sharing of information, i used to say, homeland security is a consumer of information. the fact of the matter is that
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now become a 20 years after we began using the internet we have a president to is allowed to share on classified information. it is almost unspeakable that we had to come to this point which shows you the province of the federal government with sharing relevant information entry in the state and locals in the private sectors as partners, co-equals. again, i give the president for raising the visibility of seven security, but i think the first or second provision in that executive order shows you the challenges that the secretary and the private sector had going for protecting the critical infrastructure that basically the federal government relies upon. >> that is an important point because it is an area where legislation actually would be helpful. there is a network of rules and laws governing what the intelligence community can look at and not like out and what they can talk about and not talk
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about which grow in an age when things were very simple which really makes no sense in the world in which attacks come, literally, from next door because their control from overseas. and so eliminate some of that thinking and allowing the free flow of the information which i think is often an impediment, which be a big step forward. >> absolutely. efforts to pass along. but can be done this year? >> a lot of interest around the hell. we were disappointed that congress did not act last year. we move forward. one of the things that did happen last year as a number of members of congress began being of it -- educated on what cascading effects can occur if networks interrupted a taken out
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. when dealing with the congress is basic knowledge is greater than malaria. the still of interest to see what they can do to fill in gaps from the executive order and we will do whatever we can to help it moves forward. >> optimistic are you about a separate security law this year? >> i would not put odds on it, but i would say that there is a lot of interest, whether they will be introduced. >> if that happened it would be what? >> you know, i think if it doesn't -- that is hard to speculate on. i will say this. we're talking about the nation's core critical infrastructure. the fact the matter is that that information sharing from us to them and then tustin is really what we need to have. if we get and we notice that the era seeing unusual signatures of behavior is on the network we have the wherewithal that the civilian level because we, too, rely with proper safeguards on
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technologies from the nsa and have the ability to command and help deal with the threat, mitigate the threat to figure out whether it is going to other institutions to mitigate that, but if we don't know of something. three weeks after the fact it's already done. >> a lot of it is your empire. how high a priority is cyber security law this year? >> is a very high priority. i would say, frankly, our number one priority in terms of this is immigration. high time for immigration reform and we are supporting both houses. >> i think these senators are committed to try and resolve di
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>> that is a legitimate concern. record amounts of manpower technology, everything down at the border that you can imagine, you can always do more. i have worked that border for 20 years and know that border very well. and you can always do more. but in terms of a huge effort by the country down there, that has been happening. and numbers prove the case that members of -- numbers of illegal entrants are trending down, and the numbers of seizures and drugs as telling a. i will tell you that as the economy comes back we're going to likely see more attempts to try to get into the united states for jobs. this is why one of the reasons why we need to adjust the
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immigration system. we need a better way to deal with employers who hire illegal labor, national in scope to vesco, a culture of compliance. and also need to let more people in legally. the cancer to small, too low, set years ago. they make no sense in most cases. we need to deal with visa reform , in some be broken krauss and our country legally, through our ports and we know who they are. >> so as the economy improves and jobs come back to expect more illegal encroachments across the border? >> i think we are preparing for that. that could occur, but, again, this is why senator carper gave a great line to me and said, at this point d.h. yes, congress is not to give them more buckets. it needs to fix the ship. and i think fixing the ship is called for. >> epic real agree that as part of your number one priority commemoration, part of the three leaf clover is that more
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enforcement will be part of that package. what needs to be done that is not being done? >> i think we need to continue to put technology at the border. new technology, some one off-the-shelf technology. >> like what? >> oh, you know, things that can be deployed at night, different kinds of sensors, different kinds of radar that can be moved around. there is a whole menu of things that make sense at the physical border. we're going to continue to put that down there. if we can given sequester in the budget. it is our intent to keep focusing on that border. two main drivers, one is economic. there want to send that money home. and another is job demand.
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we want to focus on the narco traffickers and deal with the economic side of this issue. >> i also want to point of a significant part of the challenges that illegal immigrants have is entry of a overstate. that is an issue of having the clarification system. again, look at the largest technology. this issue five or six years ago. the technology has returned an awful lot and as the base that we believe to get that more efficient. >> as a part of the package, the immigration gang came up with one component that has been talked about and the senator schumer played with. some kinds of means of verification -- verifying employment that the euphemism for an enhanced security card.
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when it is the likelihood that we will wind up with that as part of a final package. >> i don't know what's going to be in the final package. i don't think that the so-called gang of eight has in lighted upon that. something in that realm. it may not exactly is social security card. maybe something else, but something in the room that allows employers to hire illegal labor those who are applying to jobs to make sure that they have the rights. easy, relatively inexpensive. >> biometric. >> there will be a biometric. >> and just to cross it to you. we were talking about cyber. there has been so much publicity recently about china hacking into news organizations. what specifically is being done navarino what a lot of this
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hacking is coming from? >> well, first of all, the issue is easier said than done. this because an attack may emanate from china -- >> that has been very careful. we're in a world where they issue originated from china. it needs to be viewed as such. foreseeing a test of billions. in my judgment in the cyberworld is one of the chief problems. >> do a little bit on the personal side. your personal friends with colonel polymer, a big golfer. give us a tip. [laughter]
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>> don't cheat on your handicap. it does that give you any benefits. the hire the handicapped the better. >> was elected off with? >> she is a real delight. his success as an athlete will be shattered by his personality. he remains very competitive. i remember watching him on that black-and-white tv. no small tv. we were part of the army and became a close personal friend. one of the benefits of public service. i only know one who came, and it is arnold palmer. >> senator, on april 7th, the first race, ten miler, the cherry blossom, ten miler, you ran 10 miles for fine. tommy what i need to be doing.
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>> i have to take my heart -- hat off to you. most people would go by the five day. where i get you go bigger go home. >> my basic tips are be careful. don't break in a new pair of shoes. be get they're early so that you can get yourself positioned. >> and what should i do that? >> step up that training. you definitely want to run some 10 miles let's at some point to test yourself out. again, you not want to overdo it. >> and secretary, is it true that on one airplane flight you had to robert caro? >> yes. >> i finished master of the senate and moved to the most recent one. they're marvelous. anybody interested in history or particularly how bigger ideas
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can be forged within governments , they are phenomenal bucks. >> attorney of arizona, governor, now working. what did you learn -- what could we or layperson take away that is practical about how washington works? >> well, i think there was a different day and time, and i will tell you, the 24 / seven news cycle changes the dynamic a lot. one of the things that you appreciate when you read this stuff is you normally don't get to -- you normally do not get the full policy than in one fell swoop. and sometimes you have to do this much and then this much and in this much. we saw that with the civil rights acts, the 57 at ten in
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the and the various acts in the 60's building and each other. the other thing you recognize is the timing is critical. when politics and policy a line is when you have your best shot at getting something done, which is why i am cautiously optimistic that comprehensive immigration reform is doable, needs to be done, and we need to get it done now. >> and this is going to come as a huge surprise to your two predecessors and allow the people in this audience, but your dream job is not to be secretary of the department of common security. in the past you said that your dream job is to be commissioner of major-league baseball. is that -- >> oh, yes. that would be great. that would be great. i've followed how the teams are doing. [applause] >> we can end on that.
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the two secretaries were kind to sign their books to a public breakfast. who is an alumnus of the ridge of administration. you have a book. alumnus. right there. you have a book. thank all of you. >> i have not written a book. [laughter] >> yet. sorry. thank you. watching this morning. think our political colleagues who made this possible, including the special tenth anniversary background that we have here. thank bank of america for making these conversations possible and thank you for coming up sorely and think three secretaries for a fantastic conversation. thank you all very much. >> tonight, abigail adams, first lady considered more modern for time. she was called --
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[no audio] >> part of it cbo directors remarks from earlier today. you can see the entire event tonight 11:15 p.m. eastern on c-span and any time at our video library on on wednesday, attorney-general eric holder testifies before the senate judiciary committee answering questions about justice program programs. live at 930 eastern on c-span three. attorney-general holder recently spoke at the national association of attorneys general winter meeting. here are his remarks. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> good morning. i wanted thank you for those
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kind words. he and i go a long way back. amylase worry that he is introducing me. [laughter] he knows an awful lot of stuff that he could say. he is always kind. he is on his way up to the springboard, a woman who we know, and is something we probably ought to win. so don't load. don't blow it. [laughter] 9-0. now, as some of your know, we work together in the u.s. attorney's office. as you know, a complete joke, but it is always a privilege to be with you today. privileged once again to be included in this important annual meeting. i would like to welcome the
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newest members, the 11th attorneys general participating in this event for the first time and i would like to recognize and thank all the good friends and colleagues here with us today. i want to thank you for lending your time, your diverse perspectives and many talents for this associations' wholly critical work. over the past four years i have been fortunate enough to work with the many leaders in this room to confront a range of criminal and just too tough criminal justice, law enforcement command security challenges. alongside my colleagues and counterparts, obama administration including vice president biden, director cordray, comptroller curry, and acting associate attorney general west, all of whom you're hearing from this week. we've accomplished, i think, a great deal of working together with you across state boundaries and i think importantly across party lines. the justice department has benefited and more importantly the american people have benefited from your tireless work, your expert guidance, and your steadfast commitment to doing what is best for those
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that we are privileged to serve. the results of our collaboration , i really think, speak for themselves. by helping to strengthen our state and federal -- federal criminal justice systems fighting to spread access to a services and initiatives and consumer protections, you have addressed persisted challenges and picked -- improved countless lives. you have made victim's whole again, and you brought assistance and feeling to troubled areas. in close partnership with the president financial fraud enforcement task force, we have helped create and ensure that our approach in identifying and combating fraud, starting consumers, investors, homeowners has never been smarter, never been more systematic, and has never been more effective. last january many of you joined with the justice department to bring about the largest joint federal-state residential mortgage settlement in our history.
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since 2009 and number of you also provided invaluable assistance of a federal investigation into alleged misconduct by standard and poor's financial services which really goes to the heart -- to the heart of the recent economic crisis. no less than 13 of your moving forward with parallel actions complementing the department's civil lawsuit which i announced earlier this month. so from protecting our national security, preventing domestic violence cannot eradicate human trafficing, cracking down on intellectual property crimes and combating violence, my colleagues and i have been proud demand we have been fortunate to stand shoulder to-shoulder with each and every one of you. together we have streamlined the investigative and enforcement activities across multiple agencies and offices enabling leaders of every level of government to make the most of wrigley precious taxpayer resources. as a result, there can be no question that we're making a meaningful and measurable difference in the lives of fellow citizens committee to
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every day. >> what i recognize, as do all of you, for all the we have accomplished our work is really far from over. when it comes to us at the sacred rights of the american people, much work remains to be done. and to many places serious and seemly intractable public safety challenges persist, and nowhere is this more clear that our ongoing efforts to eradicate gun violence. yet violence touches every jurisdiction represented here and seels to many promising futures every year. last summer's events and newtown, connecticut stand a shocking reminders -- reminders as it strikes all areas. but on a daily basis there are unspeakable tragedy is compounded by countless individual tragedies that take place on our streets that pass to often unnoticed and that too
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frequently decimate the lives of our most vulnerable citizens, our children. every loss is shattering, and each one is an outrage. this is why, as concerned citizens, as heartbroken parents, and as public servants empowered to make a difference on behalf of those that we are sworn to protect the maid is time for each of us to steal our resolve and renew our commitment to respond to this senseless violence with renewed vigilance. at every level of this of ministration and particularly our department of justice, my colleagues and i are determined to work with organizations like this one to build a bipartisan consensus for taking decisive action to end gun violence. we will not rest until we have done everything in our power to prevent future tragedies like the one that took place at sandy hook elementary school. now, of course, there will never be a simple one-size-fits-all
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solution for addressing any challenge of this magnitude and confronting all of the underlying causes, but we must not allow the size or the complexity of the problem to deter us from taking action. earlier this year, the leader, vice president biden and my fellow cabinet members assembled ahead series of recommendations for keeping guns from falling into the wrong hands and keeping our young people safe and keeping our neighborhoods and schools more secure. this comprehensive plan which president obama announced last month is founded on a consensus that emerged from the discussions that we convened from discussions that we can meet with representatives more than 200 groups of policymakers, and the violence advocates, gun owners, and retailers, private organizations, police chiefs command victims of gun crimes. every step forward is predicated on the principle that president obama laid out in the weeks
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after the tragedy. if there is even one thing that we can do to reduce the violence, if there is even one life that can be saved then we have an obligation to try. this obligation is driven the administration to call on congress to adopt legislation to require universal background checks so that a full background check is performed every time someone attempts to buy a gun to impose tough, new penalties on gun traffickers who helped funnel deadly weapons to dangerous criminals, to pass a ban on high-capacity magazines, and to pass a ban on military-style assault weapons, updated and stronger than the latest version passed in 1994. beyond these proposals agencies across the administration are currently working to implement the 23 executive actions that president obama announced in order to provide federal officials and state leaders, like you, with the tools and with the impression that we need
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to keep our citizens safe. for instance, we have been encouraging private sellers to work with licensed gun dealers to run their transactions through that next -- nics background system, something that they already do on that regular basis and more can begin to do starting immediately. moving to strengthen the critical tool by addressing gaps in making certain that information included in the system is complete and that it is accurate. in examining our laws to make sure that there are effective when it comes to identifying those who should not have access to firearms. we welcome the support for this important work and ensuring that the nics background data bases is complete as possible. state records of lifeblood of the system. i urge each of you to encourage law enforcement agencies in your state to make the most of the national crime information center by about supplying and then accessing pertinent crime data.
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nics helps local law enforcement perform there work more safely because it enables every officer on patrol to have at his or her fingertips to a database with over 11 million records that can be tapped into 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. in addition, the president has taken action to end what had essentially been a freeze on a rigorous nonpartisan research and to gun violence, and effective strategies for prevention by the centers for disease control. he has instructed relevant agencies to issue guidance making it clear that under current law doctors are not prohibited from reporting successful -- such violence to law-enforcement to be directed agencies to finalize regulations that will be increasing access to mental health services for all who need them. and he has asked the administration leaders at every level to work alongside school districts and community officials to develop plans to make schools, institutions of
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higher learning, and houses of worship safer. contrary to what if you have said, all of these actions are consistent with the historical use of executive power. not one will infringe upon the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens and gunners, and all are essential parts of any serious, comprehensive effort to combat gun violence and to prevent home routinely risked their lives to keep us safe. to this end, we remain fully committed and i remain determined to do everything possible to reinforce the thin
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blue line that stands between our people and to promote -- criminal element that menaces our communities. since 2009 this commitment as the department to award more than three and a half billion dollar star state and local partners that helps close budgetary gaps. additional funding streams have been made available through the cops hiring hiring program which has awarded more than one half billion dollars to protect every thousand jobs and local law enforcement. as we look toward the future we are determined to continue making the investments that are state and local partners need to build on the progress that has been established over recent years and stem the tide of violence against our brave men and women in uniform. that is why the president's plan to reduce gun violence calls for $4 billion in cops hiring grant funding to support over 15,000 law enforcement officers.
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the department's office of safety working group, we're hoping to develop key training and information sharing practical tools for our officers in the field to better anticipate and more effectively confront specific threats in real time. --. we are exploring evidence based strategies and help make them survival when they do occur. it is to cut a bit -- innovative programs like valor. we have stimulated more than 9,000 office of safety tool kits are provided over five dozen law bars and shops is the tactical training and cutting its tools to respond to the unpredictable threats, including ambushed- style assaults. thanks to initiatives like the bulletproof vest partnership program which last year were more than $20 million tell more than 4,000 jurisdictions purchase protective equipment, we are simply helping to save lives, including lives of at least 13 officers who were saved
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by best purchased in part by a federal funds last year. now, there is no question that we could all be encouraged by this work and brought of the results we have obtained by eight working in close partnership with one another. the reality is, our ability to keep building on this progress will be contingent on congress adopting a balanced deficit reduction plan and preventing the untenable reductions that would cover the $1.6 billion from the justice apartment budget starting this fine it -- friday. if this so-called sequester doesn't affect it will not only curtail the department's ability to support our state and local partners. it will have a negative impact on the safety of americans across this great country. our capacity to respond to crimes, investigate wrongdoing, and to hold criminals accountable will be reduced. and despite our best efforts to limit the impact of sequestration, there is just no question that the effects of these cuts are -- on our entire
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system and the american people will be profound. today would like to join many of the leaders in this room in urging congressional leaders to act quickly in ensuring that the department will continue to have the funding that we need to fulfill our critical missions, support essential allies like you and keep our citizens safe. despite the threat and the scope of this challenge and the other obstacles in disagreements that we have faced in recent years, it is clear that our resolve to stand together in reducing and violence, preventing mass shootings, to protect the american people, and combating threats to law enforcement is stronger than ever. but these must not be stopping points. this week, as you move through the ambitious agenda before you, pledge ourselves once more to the difficult work that lies ahead. what he to know that the national association of attorneys generals has and can
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always expect my strong support. it is an honor to join me today in pledging my personal and professional commitment to continuing to work with you on our shared purpose in our common cause. i am fortunate to counter his partners and colleagues in this sacred public trust that has been afforded to each one of us. i look forward to where our efforts can and must lead us in the months and years ahead. thank you so much. [applause] >> as many of you do, that general holder is defining his staff and taking one are two questions. did any attorneys general have a question for mr. holder? >> general social colorado. >> i am not bill from michigan. i am just impersonating. i no you're expecting this question.
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when word our washington and colorado going to hear on the federal government's position on marijuana legalization? >> we're still in the process of reviewing of the initiatives that were passed, and i would say -- and here sin, i think we are in the last pages of the review and rare trying to make the determination as to, you know, what the policy ratifications are going to be, what our international obligations are. there are a variety of things that go into this determination. but the people of michigan and washington deserved an answer, and we will have one relatively soon. >> thank you. >> just a comment. i want to thank you for the extraordinary cooperation that your department gave us on the bank settlement and now on standard and poor's, what time
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and tony and brian and jeff did in working with us as just total partners' which has been spectacular. i have been attorney-general a long time and have never seen this kind of cooperation in this and working relationship with the department of justice. want to thank you. >> that is good to hear, but it is an indication of how when we work together we can accomplish great things. the residential mortgage-backed security initiative, the standard and poor's matter that is ongoing. i believe those are to indications that if we work together, if we talk to one another, if we put party considerations aside, it shows the power that we all have a working together as a group and the programs that we all have placed and deserve the american people. so i think as long as i am attorney-general that will be the way in which is just part will conduct itself, and want to thank you all for the great assistance and support you have given a 70 years. >> general mills from maine.
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>> thank you. could you please -- over here. could you please comment on the prospects for continued funding to the byrne grant for it for enforcement and other criminal justice measures. >> i am going to see what omb has sent back to us this afternoon for our budget to the next year, so i will be in a better position to answer that question at that point. i think one of the things that we have to look at is sequestration. i think we're going to have a healthy byrne-jag component in our budget. under the sequestration issue, you know, we are not current have the ability, the capacity to do what we want to do with byrne-jag, and one of the things that is really going to be it is our granting ability. we look at what cuts have to come, and these cuts are not ones where i am given any flexibility. these are cuts that are just
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mandated by statute. they are using a meat cleaver. you cannot do this. when you look at the legislation ability to, you know, share funds with our partners, things that we have supported for years , it is really going to be impacted, and that is why this sequestration has really got to be worked out and will have an impact on the law enforcement. it will be looking fbi agents committee a chance to match there will be getting furloughed. simply not on the streets as they should be. prosecutors, federal prosecutors will not be working with you all in taskforce is. and there are a whole variety of things that are going to happen as a result of sequestration which is why i called on in my prepared remarks for congress to resolve this as quickly as possible. >> americas day. the attorney general. >> the staff of the museum are still talking about your visit
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to the war museum there. they still remember how long you stay there and appreciate your visit. >> not to have a commercial. if you are in glom in the south pacific it is something to see this world war ii museum. it is something that these -- it is technically done, technological done very well, but it is also an extremely moving and informative place. it is really something to see. >> and kind of a follow-on to that question. the grants committee of the department of justice allocates these cats, and should that happen? i mean, make a push to not allocate and just have a smaller allocation of the cuts occur to those grants. >> there is limited flexibility under sequestration. we will do the best that we can to minimize the harm that actually occurs as a result of
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the sequestration, but the reality is is going to be hard. is going to be pain, and the american people are going to be not the same. that is a fundamental reality. people have to get there heads around it. it will not be something that will happen suddenly. as the president was saying yesterday. over time, we're talking over the course of weeks, the capacity that we have in the justice barbara is going to be significantly weakened. >> thank you, again. we will reconvene at 1115 with the comptroller. faugh thank the attorney-general for his time. [applause]
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